Art-making continues in West Broadway


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 11/05/2020 (822 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

At Art City, May would normally be full of activities as children and adults prepare for another summer of activities involving art, music, and more. While the site at 616 Broadway has been quiet during the COVID-19 pandemic, artwork has continued to inspire and encourage the people of West Broadway.

Ever since renowned artist Wanda Koop founded Art City in 1998, the organization has worked to help the people of West Broadway and beyond to find an outlet for their own creativity.

As Art City’s website notes, Koop once said, “We are not necessarily making artists, we are giving people the opportunity to think creatively, and my feeling is that if you can think creatively, you can survive almost anything.”

Photo by Ellen Locke Art City studio program manager Toby Gillies shows off the sign he made to express his thanks to Manitoba’s front-line healthcare workers.

At the time, Koop could scarcely have imagined the meaning that her words would come to have years later. As people have struggled with isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, West Broadway’s art centre has found ways to encourage program participants and the wider community through its Art City at Home program.

Although activities at Art City were suspended on March 16, the work of helping young and old foster their creativity through drawing, painting, or other forms of art has continued through its home-based activities. Staff members put a variety of activities online, both on the website and on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram so that people could find the help that they would normally receive in person and then post their artwork online.

In addition, Art City staff distributed supplies to participants who lack their own resources so that as many people as possible could join in. Later this spring or summer, the organization will host an art exhibit entitled We Made It! (a name with a “purposeful double meaning”) to celebrate both the end of the current COVID-19 crisis and the creativity of Winnipeg’s amateur artists.

As Eddie Ayoub,  artistic director of Art City, notes about the Art at Home program, “We Made It! is designed to help participants envision a happy and hopeful outcome as we navigate life during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Art City staff have also been contributing to the work of surviving the pandemic. For example, studio program manager Toby Gillies created a sign to thank health-care workers, photographed by one of the workers at the Misericordia Hospital. Art continues to have a profound effect on West Broadway, even in these difficult times.

Susan Huebert is a community correspondent for West Broadway.

Susan Huebert

Susan Huebert
Elmwood community correspondent

Susan Huebert is a community correspondent for Elmwood

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